Touched like a virgin

This post is about a problem I have in chapter 8 of 50 Shades of Grey, which is that it is unrealistic to portray virginal Ana as responsive as she is. Yeah, OK, so this is meant to be erotica and/or fantasy, and lack of realism in those genres is often not a problem. BUT…

Content note: this post has colourful language plus some of the detail from when Christian and Ana first have “normal” sex.

…we all start out as virgins and rather a lot of us go looking for answers about what sex is like while we are still virgins. The problem is, where there is a lack of good sex education, people go looking in unhelpful places for answers. Chapter 8 of 50 Shades of Grey is one such unhelpful place.

And my reasons for thinking this were summed up by blogger Amberance in her review of chapter 8. I’ve quoted the most relevant parts of her review below — all emphasis is mine.

 At this point, Ana, the asexual virgin who has never touched her body except to wash it, comes for the first time, from nothing but nipple play. I write next to it, “No.” Again, this could and probably has happened for some people. I couldn’t find a solid statistic showing me what percentage of women can get off from nothing but nipple play. I saw estimates anywhere from 2-30%. Even at the high end of that range (which is probably very overblown since it came from online men’s entertainment magazine askmen.com) this is substantially less than the majority. She’s also bound to be extremely nervous, it being her first time, and she’s never touched herself at all which means she’s completely unaware of what’s right for her body. Combining all these factors, I find the idea that she comes from nipple play in this situation highly improbable. This absurdity continues with Christian saying “You are very responsive.” If that is what actually happened she’s not “very responsive”, she’s a motherfucking grand prix car….

So he gets on top of her and fucks her, and she comes again, and I find this nearly as unlikely as I did the first time because I suspect very few women discover they are multi-orgasmic on their first go. But Ana does, probably because it’s Christian who is SO TALENTED AT EVERYTHING EVER. She wants more, OBVIOUSLY, so he flips her over to fuck her from behind and this is when she realizes he hasn’t taken his shirt off because now that he’s shown off his dungeon she has to have a new thing to foreshadow about. I’m sure he’s not hiding scars from all the beatings he used to get or anything like that. So that happens and it’s really boring, and he sticks his thumb in her mouth which she thinks is “really wrong” and he says “I want you sore, baby” because he keeps calling her baby now all of a sudden and I yell “OF COURSE SHE WILL BE SORE. SHE’S A VIRGIN YOU TOOL.”

If there are any never-had-an-orgasm-virgins reading this, I have this to say:

  • you do not have to apologise to anyone for being a virgin or for having never had an orgasm
  • a person’s sexuality takes time to be explored and to develop
  • if you want to try something new with someone but you’re a bit nervous about it:
    • that does not make you a failure or mean you don’t care about that person
    • it’s really important you communicate up-front and clearly with that person about your and their expectations
  • anyone worth having sex with will want to enable you in your sexual journey; most people do this by asking you about what you want and don’t want, helping you relax, and being patient while you learn and your body adjusts.

I don’t have a problem if someone chooses to go from complete sexual abstinence into penetrative sex. But it doesn’t look like 50 Shades. And I mean that in two ways: firstly, fireworks on night one is an unrealistic expectation. Secondly, an exploration of your sexuality with someone where you can enjoy the progression of your journey is a lot more satisfying than being rushed in with “I want you sore, baby.”

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